A woman who played the piano was considered more marriageable. By 1899, pianos and reed organs graced drawing rooms in over a million homes across America. They were even found in the occasional miner’s tent in Colorado.
The music products industry followed settlers and the railroad West. Chicago retailers and distributors, who had relied on products made by East Coast manufacturers, began building their own factories to supply instruments to dealers in frontier towns such as Milwaukee and Denver. Chicago became the western hub of the music industry.
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